July 2014

Twenty-sixth Annual Hispanic Institute at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University Begins July 13

 Record Number of Students Who Serve Hispanic Catholics Expected to Attend

BERKELEY, Calif., July 9, 2014— Seventy-three leaders who minister to the exploding numbers of Hispanic Catholics nationwide will convene at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University July 13 - 25 for an advanced theology and pastoral ministries education program, the Instituto Hispano, or the Hispanic Institute.

The Instituto, now in its 26th year, is designed as an intensive program for Catholic leaders, mostly non-clergy, who minister to or lead Hispanic or Spanish-speaking members of their parish. Often they are catechism teachers, RCIA leaders, deacons, or pre-marriage or pre-baptism counselors, and sometimes women religious or priests. Most who attend are Hispanic themselves, and are seeking a greater integration of their faith-rich culture with formal teachings of Catholicism. Classes are taught in Spanish.

The Berkeley-based Instituto aims to provide a deeper theological education for the Hispanic community, focused on the unique lived experience of Catholic Hispanic Americans today. This includes concepts such as inculturation – the mutual exchange between two cultures contributing to the emergence of a new culture; planning for an authentic liturgy that speaks powerfully to the community, and understanding the Gospels through a Hispanic reality. This year the Instituto will host Noche de la Frontera, a  prayer service and story-telling forum about the Hispanic migration to the U.S. from their respective countries and how God has guided them through their journeys.

 Participants in the Instituto must first receive the necessary deaconate or equivalent training by their local diocese, and be recommended by their parish priest. Participants who attend for three summers receive a Certificate in Hispanic Theological and Pastoral Studies.

JST is also pleased to announce a new partnership between The Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation and Catholic Extension to support the studies of 25 lay ministers for each of the next three years. This $75,000 grant will allow ministers from all over the country to take part in the Instituto.

 “There is a great need for leadership formation for those in the Latino Catholic community," said Teresa Montes-Lara, O.P., the director of the Instituto. “With the Instituto and other workshops throughout the year, JST is responding to that need, with top-tier faculty who are at the forefront of Hispanic theology,” she added.

This year’s attendees come from 10 different states, including California, Washington, Texas, New Mexico, Kentucky and Alaska. Forty-eight of the students are women; 25 are men.

Among the faculty are Jose Sols Lucia, director of ethics and Christian thought at IQS in Barcelona; Gerardo Cortes Padilla, a Scripture expert from Universidad Iberoamericaan in Mexico; Ricardo Jose Marquez Muskus, systematic theologian from Loyola University in New Orleans; and Ahida Calderon Pilarski, feminist theologian from Saint Anselm College in Manchester, NH. Click here for a full list of faculty.  

Interested media may attend Institute events by first contacting SCU Media Relations.
Media Contact:
Deborah Lohse | Assistant Director, Media Relations | 408-554-5121 | dlohse@scu.edu


JST,Hispanic Institute,Instituto Hispano